Month: July 2017

Hats Off to Hill!

BTCC resumed this weekend after it’s Summer break and wow, did it return with a bang! For us, most of the stomach gripping moments were in Race 3.

Firstly, young Aiden Moffat for Laser Tools Racing, set aside his recovery from tonsillitis and powered from 29th on the grid to 12th. At the end of his race, Aiden’s Mercedes didn’t have a scratch on it. Bear in mind that Aiden is still only 20 years old, but is keeping very well established and respected drivers like Turkington and Plato at bay on more than one occasion this season.

The race itself had quite a lot of close contact between cars, in all sections of the pack. The two MG cars both had frontal damage and there was a ‘was it/wasn’t it a nudge’ forcing one of the leading cars off towards end of the race too.

But, it was Team Hard’s Jake Hill who had perhaps the best race weekend of his life. When an ITV4 commentator states “it’s only a matter of time until he wins a race”, you know he’s being noticed in the right circles, and rightly so on this occasion as he would have scared the leading drivers in this meeting in their rear view mirrors.

Sitting at the back of the leading pack for most of the race, Hill was unfortunate to lose a position, dropping him to eighth a couple of laps from the end. One would have congratulated Hill at this stage as his whole day had been really quite spectacular. However, Hill wouldn’t give up, far from it, and spectators saw the driver lead the chase to regain position with plumes of brake smoke from his VW Passat CC as he tried out braking the 2 other rival cars nudging him for position.

In the end, it was another’s misfortune that gave Hill back his 7th place spot, when Andrew Jordan, who had been leading the race for most of the time, suddenly went into limp mode either with (presumably) fuel or electrical issues. Strangely, after dropping back, Jordan found his mojo again, possibly while doing a rolling re-boot, before again going back into limp mode. One for telemetrics and the mechanics in time for the next race further North of this East Anglian track.

Whilst 7th wasn’t quite a full podium place for Hill, one could really feel that with a little luck on his side, Hill could have finished top 3 in this race. He looked confident, and at times domineering as he held his own in corners and took the race line with legal aggression. He’s only a small guy out of the car, but we reckon Jake must have felt 10 feet tall at the end of that race. He certainly gave us spectators a really entertaining race. Roll on Knockhill in 2 weeks time!

Photo Credit to Ian Cutting Photography.

Snetterton to Host 2017 BTCC Rounds 16 17 and 18

2017 BTCC Rounds 16 17 and 18

29th to 30th of July will see 2017 BTCC rounds 16 17 and 18 take place at the famous Norfolk’s Snetterton circuit, after its standard mid-season break. The championship has already seen five events and with another five still to go, we should expect an unpredictable showcase. For the first time in a while, nine different drivers have managed to take home 1st place wins during the first half of the championship.

We can expect a non-stop action packed weekend with 14 competitors set to line up on the grid. It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that the current reigning champion, Gordon Shedden, holds the fastest lap time in this circuit. His position, even though first, can still be overturned by Rob Collard, who stands only 11 points behind the leader. Double champion Colin Turkington stands in current 3rd place, just a point behind. Shedden will be racing with a great target in mind, as he has his eyes set on winning a third BTCC title in a row – this hasn’t been achieved since Andy Rouse performed a motor hat-trick over 30 years ago.

Tom Ingram and triple champion Matt Neal are all within reach of the top spots too. Some early pace setters are also in with a chance to gain a couple of podium wins knowing that the campaign is only getting into full swing.

RCIB Insurance Racing sponsored, Triple 8 MG Team drivers Aron Smith and Josh Cook are both set to appear on the Snetterton grid on the 29th of July. Mid-season break worked very much in Aron’s favour, without it he probably wouldn’t have been able to be fully mended and ready for Snetterton after the last BTCC race’s triple crash, which left him with a broken leg and two other drivers with multiple, serious injuries. Even though the Irish driver has been unable to reach the leaders top 10 standing yet, he feels confident coming up to the race:

“My preparation for Snetterton has been somewhat unorthodox! Croft threw a bit of the spanner in the works for me this season and ever since I have spent my time going from one hospital appointment to the next. I’m happy to say that I’m now nearly back to full health, just in time for Snetterton! Snetterton has historically been a kind track to me in the past and I always look forward to going there. Having missed the two day test is a bit of shame but even if a car was ready to go I certainly wouldn’t have been. I did however spend both days up at the test to still learn as much as I could from what Josh was cycling through. I’m really looking forward to the second half of the season kicking off as I feel as though we’ve worked really hard to get to this point. Not only that but the work that all of MG RCiB Insurance Racing have had to do over the gap has been astonishing, they’ve pretty much had to build a new car from scratch and it’s been so impressive to see!”

Number of people set to be present at the Norwich based circuit this weekend are adding up to thousands. With the summer festival vibe ruling the British events space at the moment, you are sure to have a memorable experience. If you are, however, more a of a sofa spectator, why not tune into ITV4 and watch the race in high definition

 

2017 British RX Rounds 4 & 5 at Mondello Park

2017 British RX

Mondello Park, a Northern Irish circuit, was filled with hundreds of British Rallycross fans on the weekend of 22nd to 23rd of July. Independent driver, Julian Godfrey, in Ford Fiesta, won his second 1st place podium of 2017 British RX Championship, after finishing 1st in the final laps of both Round 4 and 5 . He now stands first on the overall drivers standing board with 30 points, Ollie O’Donovan gave a great performance and is standing second with 27 points, Oliver Bennett stands in third with 25 points. Mondello Park marked a halfway point of the championship, with the top five drivers being so close to each other on the standings board, final outcome can not be predicted just yet, the standings are likely to change and culminate at the 2017 British RX Grand Prix, taking place at Croft circuit, on the 22nd of October.

Racing at Mondello Park, non-registered British RX series entrant, Irish champion Derek Tohill proved his talent on his home circuit track, where he finished in third place at the final laps of Rounds 4 and 5. Tohill, a two-time FIA European Rallycross Touring Car Champion and reigning Irish Rallycross Champion is currently racing in the Euro RX Supercar Championship, however, having close connection with the British RX, he couldn’t resist but try his Irish luck at Mondello Park.

While some drivers conquered the Irish circuit, RCIB Insurance Racing sponsored/Team BMR’s Warren Scott unfortunately had to miss this weekend’s rounds, Team BMR had released a statement on Friday, stating: “BMR Racing can confirm that Warren Scott will not be taking part in the Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship at Mondello Park this weekend.  Due to the heavy impact crash at Pembrey last time out, Warren aggravated an old injury and has been advised by medics that he should not race pending an operation to secure his pelvis. Unfortunately, Warren will not be competing until further notice and when his medical team are completely happy that he is fit to return.”

Scott not only received damage to his pelvis, but also to his Citroen DS3, which set on fire during Round 3 at Pembrey. Team BMR’s principal, however, remains positive and still feels happy with his decision to move racing divisions this season (BTCC to British RX).

Round 6 of British Rallycross will take place on the 28th of August at Lydden Hill

 

 

 

 

 

Silverstone Classic 2017 To See Mclaren Pay Tribute To Its Founder Bruce McLaren

Silverstone Classic 2017

Bruce McLaren would have turned 80 this year, his amazing car constructing and racing legacy left behind is nothing short of outstanding. Silverstone Classic 2017 Festival will be a paying a tribute to the extraordinary driver. During his 12-year racing career, McLaren managed to win 4 Grand Prix races, an impressive achievement, however, not necessary seen as legendary, especially with Lewis Hamilton having won his 5th one just last week. What made McLaren so special are a combination of the many things that he did – he won his first GP race in 1959 at the age of 22, making him the youngest driver ever to have won the race. This victory was followed by many others, including Le Mans in 1966 and two Cam-Am championship titles in 1967 and 1969. As well as that, he was also an incredible car constructor, after coming up with superb prototypes, McLaren would then test them out himself. He finally raced in his first fully completed, McLaren name bearing, model in Monaco race, in 1966. His last GP win came in 1968, when he won the Belgian Grand Prix in his McLaren M7A.

Bruce McLaren died at a very young age of 32, after a failed test drive of his Can-Am McLaren at Goodwood Circuit in the summer of 1970. The car was destabilised when rear bodywork flew off and McLaren hit a marshal’s post. McLaren’s only child, Amanda McLaren, who was 4 years old when he died, is now the ambassador of the McLaren brand and will be attending Silverstone to pay tribute to her father. She will also be leading the Mclaren parade on Sunday, 30th of July. It was initially imagined that 80 McLaren cars will be attending the event to represent Bruce McLaren’s ‘could have been age’, however, with so many new models now in existence, including a couple of GT road cars, 120 motors were registered, they will all be displayed during Silverstone Classic 2017 Festival throughout the last weekend of July.

Bruce McLaren, even though now more famously known as a brand, should never be forgotten to have been an incredible racer and engineer. In his 1964 book From the Cockpit, he referred to the death of his teammate, Timmy Mayer and wrote: “The news that he had died instantly was a terrible shock to all of us, but who is to say that he had not seen more, done more and learned more in his few years than many people do in a lifetime? To do something well is so worthwhile that to die trying to do it better cannot be foolhardy. It would be a waste of life to do nothing with one’s ability, for I feel that life is measured in achievement, not in years alone.” Today this quote is very much referenced to his own death instead.

Attend Silverstone Classic Festival on the 28th, 29th and 30th of July to see the amazing McLaren display and many more stunning motors

Image by Lothar Spurzem [CC BY-SA 2.0 de (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/de/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

Hamilton Laughs At The Face Of Critics As He Conquers British Grand Prix With 5th Gold Win

Hamilton

It is very well known by now that Lewis Hamilton is somewhat of a ‘superhero’ of the Silverstone F1 Grand Prix, except for his personality, which is not exactly as humble as that of a Superman. Many critics have tried to knock his pompous and some might say arrogant character down in the past few years, however, this was always proven to be unsuccessful, as he would almost seemingly effortlessly achieve the back up for his undoubtedly big ego. This time his back up came in a form of a fifth Golden British Grand Prix trophy, making him only a third man after Jim Clark and Alain Prost to ever achieve this.

Hamilton, very openly announced about his antics prior to the championship, he admitted to have spent 2 days in the island of Mykonos, in Greece, which is famously sought after by night life lovers. Although when looking at the performance that he gave in his Mercedes formula car, we are lost for words when it comes to describing his talent for this arguably most exhilarating sport in the world. The 32 year old came out with 25 points, leaving Valtteri Bottas in Mercedes with 18 points in Second place and Kimi Raikkonen in Ferrari with 15 points in third place.

Unlike other Formula 1 drivers, Hamilton is not as weary of his fans and enjoys showing them attention, as long as he gets triple the amount of it in return of course! He never fails to put on a good show for the spectators which essentially is what this sport is all about. Following that manner, at the end of the final race, Hamilton was seen crowd-surfing through the crowds of his loyal fans, later he decided to shake hands and say his hellos to people standing by the further wire fences, followed by cap throwing.

Unfortunately, Hamilton’s Silverstone reign will soon be over, as the Championship will be leaving the famous Northamptonshire circuit in two years. 2019 will see the race move to another location, which Hamilton is not exactly happy about, as this circuit has proven to work the most in his driving style’s favour. However, we have no doubt that his trophy collection will keep increasing regardless of the track. The young and confident driver has won over most of the F1 fans hearts with his loud and entertaining personality, he promises to continue to be himself and enjoy his life the way that he wants to for the time to come, no matter the criticisms.

 

Image by: Morio (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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Snetterton Dunlop Tyre Test Day Prior to BTCC Race

Dunlop Tyre Test Day

British Touring Car Championship cars had lined up at Snetterton circuit track on the 5th and 6th of July for a two day Dunlop tyre test day, three weeks before the official race, which will take place on 29th to 30th of July. If you wanted to see an adrenaline packed race – this is the one to look forward to. The two day tyre test gave the teams and drivers the chance to get some valuable track time ahead of rounds 6 & 7 which will be held at the famous Norfolk circuit.

30 drivers took advantage of the tyre test days, where they were faced with varying track conditions and temperatures. Wednesday was incredibly dry and hot, seeing the track temperature rise above 40 degrees, which allowed all cars the chance to test the prime option Sport Maxx tyres. Thursday, on the other hand, gave turn to a more British weather and concluded with showers around lunchtime, this gave the opportunity to test the wet weather tackling Dunlop Blu Response tyres. All tyres seemed to have performed well, however, due to inconsistencies in the track, performance could not be rounded up. These tests are extremely valuable to both drivers and Dunlop Motorsport, allowing them to carry out evaluations and and offer additional track time if needed so.

Our very own Laser Tools, RCIB Insurance sponsored Aiden Moffat was one of the drivers testing his Mercedes with Dunlop Tyres: “The tyre test went well for us. On day 1 we got a lot of running down and found a setup for the car that we are happy with. We also done some running on the option tyres and made some improvements to get the most out of them as it has been a struggle for us in the past. Day 2 we had a gearbox issue that was quickly fixed, but unfortunately the weather was horrendous for the second half of the day which ruined our running time. We haven’t had great results at Snetterton, but we have had good pace there, so with the improvements made – it has the potential to be a promising weekend for us.”

Another reason for the drivers to push harder this year is the Dunlop Motorsports ForeverForward award, which will be rewarded to one of the drivers for their determination and fight-backs from adversity, the overtaking league focuses on the battles through the field with one point awarded for every position gained. Matt Neal is currently in the best position to take home the award after five rounds and at the moment stands with 135 points. However, Colin Turkingtonis is not far behind with 130 points. Further five BTCC races will determine the winner!

 

2017 British GT Rounds 7 and 8 at Spa-Francorchamps

2017 British GT Rounds 7 & 8

20 GT4 cars have now arrived at the famous Ardenne’s Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium for the 2017 British GT rounds 7 & 8 away race happening this weekend. The circuit was designed in 1920 by Jules de Thier and Henri Langlois Van Ophem, the original triangle-shaped course used public roads between the Belgian towns of Francorchamps, Malmedy, and Stavelot. Today it still retains its unique shape, however now has no involvement with public roads and has been named as one of the fastest circuits, which has gained favouritism from a lot of drivers.

Rounds 7 & 8 are promising to be thrilling, such as with a new entry from Ebor GT’s Maserati GranTurismo MC GT4, which has made its first British GT start since Donington Park’s 2016 season finale. Our very own Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing sponsored team have also made quite a few changes this year, rookies Adam Hatfield and Benjamin Wallace will make their first appearance representing an all-Silver line up of the Team HARD-run Ginettas. Their second car will be driven by 2014 GT4 champion Jake Giddings who came back to the squad following his Snetterton cameo as replacement for Sam Webster.

For the first time in a while a second Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport will also appear on 2017 British GT’s Spa grid courtesy of Delahaye Racing and Alexandre Viron, at the moment they compete together in the Le Mans Cup. Viron is joined by fellow Am Emmanuel Orgeval.

With top five drivers not being too far apart when looking at their points so far, an unexpected switch around the board is being anticipated. Alex Reed and David Pittard are currently in a first place lead by 3.5 points from Adam Balon and Adam Mackay, who failed to gain point in round 3, but managed to bring it back home in third round and gain podium lead. 2 points behind stand the championship’s youngest participants, Stuart Middleton and William Tregurtha, the two teenagers have managed to scoop up impressive points from the first round, showing some especially exceptional performance in rounds 3 & 4.

Catch Rounds 7 & 8 this Saturday.

Channel 4, BT Sport and Motorsport TV will all broadcast highlights of both races.